ESPN Networks To Carry Full Coverage Of 2015 NCAA Division I College Baseball Tournament

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The weather around the country is finally warming up. And just as it is, so are things for the boys of summer. This includes not just the majors but the college ranks, too. The field for the College Baseball Championship tournament was set this past weekend. THIS weekend, the tournament itself begins. And when it does, ESPN and the ESPN family of networks will have full coverage of the tournament.

ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, and the SEC Network will combine to cover all 153 matchups from the tournament’s regions all the way to the College World Series. ESPN2, ESPNU, and ESPN 3 will carry coverage of the tournament’s Regional round (May 29th – June 1st). Super Regional coverage presented by Capital One (June 5th – 8th) will be carried on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU. And the world Series (June 13th – 24th) will be carried on ESPN and ESPN2.

Regional coverage will feature the return of ESPN’s four-day Bases Loaded platform. The Bases Loaded platform provides audiences with no fewer than thirty-nine hours of live, unlimited live cut-ins and highlights from a number of games. This includes up-to-the-minute commentary from ESPN’s analysts. ESPNU and ESPN2 will carry a total of thirty-one hours of Bases Loaded while ESPN3 will carry Bases Loaded coverage in its entirety. ESPNU and ESPN2 will carry ten hours of coverage this Friday and Saturday, followed by six hours of coverage on Sunday amd up to five hours of coverage next Monday. Matt Schick and Brendan Fitzgerald will have the call for the games. They will be joined by analysts Kyle Peterson and Ben McDonald for the broadcasts. the complete broadcast schedule for the tournament’s Regional round is listed below.

Site: Los Angeles, Calif.
Commentators: Clay Matvick, Mike Rooney
Teams: No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Ole Miss, No. 3 Maryland, No. 4 CSU Bakersfield
Networks: ESPNU or ESPN3
Game 1 – Maryland vs. Ole Miss: May 29 at 7 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – CSU Bakersfield vs. UCLA: May 29 at 11 p.m., ESPNU
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 7 p.m. & 11 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 7 p.m. & 11 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 11 p.m.

Site: Baton Rouge, La.
Commentators: Mike Keith, Rusty Ensor
Teams: No. 1 LSU, No. 2 UNC Wilmington, No. 3 Tulane, No. 4 Lehigh
Networks: SEC Network, ESPNU or ESPN3
Game 1 – Lehigh vs. LSU: May 29 at 4 p.m., SEC Network
Game 2 – Tulane vs. UNC Wilmington: May 29 at 8 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 4 p.m. & 9 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 4 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 8 p.m.

Site: Louisville, Ky.
Commentators: Doug Bell, Wes Clements
Teams: No. 1 Louisville, No. 2 Bradley, No. 3 Michigan, No. 4 Morehead State
Networks: ESPN3
Game 1 – Michigan vs. Bradley: May 29 at 2 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – Morehead State vs. Louisville: May 29 at 6 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at Noon & 4 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at Noon & 4 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 6 p.m.

Site: Gainesville, Fla.
Commentators: Mike Morgan, Dave Perno
Teams: No. 1 Florida, No. 2 Florida Atlantic, No. 3 USF, No. 4 Florida A&M
Networks: SEC Network, ESPNU or ESPN3
Game 1 – USF vs. Florida Atlantic: May 29 at 1 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – Florida A&M vs. Florida: May 29 at 7 p.m., SEC Network
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 1 p.m. & 6 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at Noon & 4 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 7 p.m.

Site: Coral Gables, Fla.
Commentators: Jason Benetti, Nick Belmonte
Teams: No. 1 Miami, No. 2 East Carolina, No. 3 Columbia, No. 4 Florida International
Networks: ESPN3
Game 1 – Columbia vs. East Carolina: May 29 at 1 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – Florida International vs. Miami: May 29 at 7 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 7 p.m.

Site: Champaign, Ill.
Commentators: Jim Barbar, Jerry Kindall
Teams: No. 1 Illinois, No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 3 Wright State, No. 4 Ohio
Networks: ESPN3
Game 1 – Wright State vs. Notre Dame: May 29 a 1 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – Ohio vs. Illinois: May 29 at 8 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 1 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 1 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 2 p.m.

Site: Fort Worth, Texas
Commentators: Brett Dolan, Greg Swindell
Teams: No. 1 TCU, No. 2 NC State, No. 3 Stony Brook, No. 4 Sacred Heart
Networks: ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3
Game 1 – Stony Brook vs. NC State: May 29 at 3:30 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – Sacred Heart vs. TCU: May 29 at 8 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 3:30 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 3:30 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 8 p.m.

Site: Springfield, Mo.
Commentators: Anish Shroff, Landon Powell
Teams: No. 1 Missouri State, No. 2 Iowa, No. 3 Oregon, No. 4 Canisius
Networks: ESPN3
Game 1 – Oregon vs. Iowa: May 29 at 2 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – Canisius vs. Missouri State: May 29 at 7 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 3 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 2 p.m.

Site: College State, Texas
Commentators: Tom Hart, Gabe Gross
Teams: No. 1 Texas A&M, No. 2 Coastal Carolina, No. 3 Cal, No. 4 Texas Southern
Networks: SEC Network, ESPNU or ESPN3
Game 1 – Cal vs. Coastal Carolina: May 29 at 1 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – Texas Southern vs. Texas A&M: May 29 at 7 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Site: Dallas, Texas
Commentators: Kevin Dunn, Keith Moreland
Teams: No. 1 Dallas Baptist, No. 2 Oregon State, No. 3 Texas, No. 4 VCU
Networks: ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3
Game 1- Texas vs. Oregon State: May 29 at 2:30 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – VCU vs. Dallas Baptist: May 29 at 7 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at Noon & 7 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 1 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 8 p.m.

Site: Nashville, Tenn.
Commentators: Dave Neal, Chris Burke
Teams: No. 1 Vanderbilt, No. 2 Radford, No. 3 Indiana, No. 4 Lipscomb
Network: SEC Network, ESPNU or ESPN3
Game 1 – Indiana vs. Radford: May 29 at 3 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – Lipscomb vs. Vanderbilt: May 29 at 8 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 4 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 4 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Site: Houston, Texas
Commentators: Doug Sherman, John Gregory
Teams: No. 1 Houston, No. 2 Rice, No. 3 Louisiana-Lafayette, No. 4 Houston Baptist
Networks: ESPN3
Game 1 – Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Rice: May 29 at 3:30 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – Houston Baptist vs. Houston: May 29 at 8 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 3:30 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 3:30 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 8 p.m.

Site: Tallahassee, Fla.
Commentators: Mike Couzens, Eduardo Perez
Teams: No. 1 Florida State, No. 2 College of Charleston, No. 3 Auburn, No. 4 Mercer
Networks: SEC Network or ESPN3
Game 1 – Auburn vs. College of Charleston: May 29 at Noon, ESPN3
Game 2 – Mercer vs. Florida State: May 29 at 6 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at Noon & 6 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at Noon & 6 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 6 p.m.

Site: Lake Elsinore, Calif.
Commentators: Trey Bender, Jay Walker
Teams: No. 1 UC Santa Barbara, No. 2 USC, No. 3 Virginia, No. 4 San Diego State
Networks: ESPN3
Game 1 – Virginia vs. USC: May 29 at 6 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – San Diego State vs. UC Santa Barbara: May 29 at 10 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 6 p.m. & 10 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 6 p.m. & 10 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 9 p.m.

Site: Stillwater, Okla.
Commentators: Mark Neely, Jay Powell
Teams: No. 1 Oklahoma State, No. 2 Arkansas, No. 3 Oral Roberts, No. 4 St. John’s
Networks: SEC Network, ESPNU or ESPN3
Game 1 – Oral Roberts vs. Arkansas: May 29 at 1 p.m., SEC Network
Game 2 – St. John’s vs. Oklahoma State: May 29 at 7 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 7 p.m.

Site: Fullerton, Calif.
Commentators: Roxy Bernstein, Randy Flores
Teams: No. 1 Cal State Fullerton, No. 2 Arizona State, No. 3 Clemson, No. 4 Pepperdine
Networks: ESPNU or ESPN3
Game 1 – Clemson vs. Arizona State: May 29 at 6 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – Pepperdine vs. Cal State Fullerton: May 29 at 10 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 7 p.m. & 11 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 7 p.m. & 11 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 11 p.m.

More information on the ESPN family of networks’ coverage of the NCAA Division I College Baseball tournament is available online now at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/college-sports

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPN

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Coal Chamber Burns As Bright As Ever On Rivals

Courtesy:  Napalm Records

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Ten years ago, Coal Chamber front man Dez Fafara made it official that he and his then former band mates were done. He said that Coal Chamber was finished and that it would never get back together. Apparently nobody ever told Fafara to never say never. That’s because that “never” only lasted about six years. In 2011, he joined forces once again with guitarist Miguel Rascon and drummer Mike Cox and started up the fire in the chamber (bad pun fully intended here). The trio is currently joined by bassist Nadja Puelen, who also recorded and performed with Coal Chamber for a period of time after the departure of original bassist Rayna Foss Rose. Four years removed from Coal Chamber’s resurrection, the band has released an album in the form of Rivals that shows the band’s time apart did it plenty of good. That is because it sounds as strong as it did in its heyday. This is evident more than once through the course of the album’s thirteen total tracks including the album’s second track, ‘Bad Blood Between Us,’ its title track, and its penultimate song ‘Fade Away (karma Never Forgets).’ These are just a few examples of the fire that has been building inside the band since its breakup and subsequent reunion. Each of the remaining ten tracks that make up the rest of this record show exhibit just as much fire and fury in their own way. Whether for those tracks or for the compositions noted here, audiences will agree in listening to each work that collectively they make Rivals an album that *rivals* the band’s previous releases with ease. And because it does, it proves itself a record that long-time fans and newer fans alike should hear at least once.

Thirteen years have passed since Coal Chamber released its last full-length studio effort Dark Days. Who ever would have thought that upon its release that album’s title would be such a foreshadowing for the band? While well over a decade has passed since the release of that album and the band’s latest release Rivals, that span of time has clearly done more good for frontman Dez Fafara and his band mates–Mike Cox (drums), Miguel Rascon (bass) and Nadja Puelen (bass)–than bad. That is because Rivals shows through the course of its thirteen tracks that it is just as strong as it was in that album’s release if not stronger. Whatever bad blood was there so long ago has seemingly been healed at least to some extent. Interestingly enough that same bad blood has actually helped make Rivals the strong record that it is. It has helped in that it serves as the basis for one of the best of the album’s compositions; the aptly titled ‘Bad Blood Between Us.’ Fafara writes clearly of the emotions that he felt upon the band’s split and the time leading up to its split in this song. That is made crystal clear in the song’s chorus as Fafara writes, “There’s some bad blood that flow between us/That flows between us/Turning the other cheek just evens out the scars/Nothing drowns the sorrow.” He goes on to write in the song’s closing lines, “Say it/We’re out for blood/I’m out for blood/It’s time to unravel/This wrath is on you/Heed this warning/Take this message/I’m out for blood.” The message is clear here. There was obviously a lot of animosity both in the days leading up to the band’s breakup and the actual breakup at least on the part of Fafara. This is just a small part of the picture painted by Fafara, too. The rest of the song’s verses coupled with the fury of its musical side makes the picture in question even richer and clearer for audiences. And being so vivid, it makes for just one impressive example of what makes Rival an easy *rival* against the band’s previous albums.

The energy and emotion exhibited in ‘Bad Blood Between Us’ is a prime example of just how much Coal Chamber has to offer on its new album. While it does plenty to show just how much the band has to offer in itself, it’s just one example of how much Coal Chamber has to offer in its latest outing.  The album’s title track also makes clear that Coal Chamber still has plenty to offer audiences. The juxtaposition of the song’s more contemplative verses to its more impactful chorus in its musical side builds a strong foundation for the song. The lyrical content laid overtop each verse and chorus makes the song even more powerful. Fafara ruminates in the song’s verses, thinking about all the bad that has been done to the song’s subject, writing in the first verse alone, “You spit in my face/You reek all over this place/Try to bend my will just to get your thrills/After all this time/You’d think it would all be fine/But it feels out of line/It’s so hateful/Jealousy reigns/It causes so much pain/But it helps to eliminate/The unfaithful.” This could apply to a marital situation. It could point to a friendship gone wrong, too. It could even relate to another situation entirely. Regardless, these straight forward lyrics and Fafara’s delivery of said lyrics set opposite the song’s chorus make for a song that hits listeners just as hard as any other piece on this record. the same can be said of the song’s second verse set against the song’s chorus, too. It makes the song just as hard-hitting as ‘Bad Blood Between Us’ and in turn just as solid an example of how much Coal Chamber has to offer audiences in this record.

Both ‘Bad Blood Between Us’ and ‘Rivals’ show in their own way that despite thirteen years between the release of Rivals and Coal Chamber’s last album, the band has lost none of its edge. If anything they show that the fire burning beneath the band’s members is burning as bright as ever. If those examples are not enough for audiences, then the album’s penultimate composition ‘Fade Away (Karma Never Forgets)’ should do the trick. This song proves just as strongly as the previously examined works what makes Rivals worth at least one listen by long-time fans and newer fans alike. This song is a full on assault both musically and lyrically. Puelen, Rascon and Cox are the driving force behind the song from beginning to end. Fafara’s fury in his no-nonsense lyrics and vocal delivery add the proverbial icing to the cake. He lets listeners know he means business as he screams in the song’ chorus, “Fade away/Karma never forgets/It’ll be one hell of a war/Before you rise against me.” Fafara makes no bones about it here. He is saying to someone, “Want some? Come get some.” As if there was any room for doubt, he goes on to sing in the song’s lead verse and refrain, “Stripped me apart/Left me in the dark/Because you took it too far/Now I keep your heart locked up/With herbs and bone in a black mason jar.” Whether this is aimed at a former romantic interest or the result of very hurt feelings from the band’s original breakup, the one thing that can be said of these lyrics is that they leave little to question other than the subjects(s) at whom the song is aimed. The fury in the song’s music and lyrics is very real. And being so clearly real it makes this song yet another example of what makes Rivals such a strong return for Coal Chamber. Together with ‘Bad Blood Between Us’ and ‘Rivals’ the trio of songs noted here show without a single doubt that Coal Chamber is back and in a big way. In fact together with the remaining ten tracks not noted here, the album in whole proves once more why it is a solid *rival* to Coal Chamber’s previous releases and any other hard rock record released so far this year.

‘Bad Blood Between Us,’ ‘Rivals,’ and ‘Fade Away (Karma Never Forgets)’ are all excellent examples of the strength of Coal Chamber’s new full-length studio release. That is not to take away from the album’s other songs not noted here. Each of the remaining ten songs that make up the rest of the album’s body could easily be cited as examples of the album’s strength, too. All things considered, Rivals presents Coal Chamber as a band that is just as strong today as it was in its heyday and a band that is ready to make its mark on the rock and metal community again. Rivals is available now in stores and online. More information on the album is available online now along with all of the latest news and tour updates at:

Website: http://www.coalchamberofficial.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/coalchamberofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/COALCHAMBEROFFI

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Black Veil Brides To Release Debut Live Recording This Summer

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Black Veil brides will release its first-ever live recording this summer.

Eagle Rock Entertainment will release Alive and Burning on Friday, July 10th. The band’s first-ever live recording, it will be released on DVD, Blu-ray and digitally via iTunes. Alive and Burning was recorded live on November 1st, 2014 during the band’s hometown show at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, California. The show was part of the band’s 2014 “Black Mass Tour” presented by Hot Topic. It features seventeen songs pulled from the band’s now four full-length studio releases including: ‘Knives and Pens,’ ‘Fallen Angels,’ ‘Faithless,’ and ‘The End’ just to name a small handful. The complete set list for the recording is noted below.

Track Listing


1) Heart Of Fire

2) I Am Bulletproof

3) Coffin

4) Faithless

5) Wretched & Divine

6) Knives & Pens

7) Overture

8) Shadows Die

9) Last Rites

10) Rebel Love Song

11) Drum Solo

12) The Legacy

13) Sweet Blasphemy

14) Perfect Weapon

15) Fallen Angels

16) Rebel Yell

17) In The End

Plus bonus feature “Meet The Fans”

Audiences can check out the trailer for Alive and Burning online now at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kverarFmT50&feature=youtu.be. More information on Alive and Burning is available online now along with all of the latest news from Black Veil Brides at:

Website: http://www.blackveilbrides.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Blackveilbrides

Twitter: http://twitter.com/blackveilbrides

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Every Listener Will Be Glad That They Found Lost And Found

Courtesy:  Nonesuch Records

Courtesy: Nonesuch Records

On September 16th, 1997 Ry Cooder and Juan de Marcos Gonzalez released the very first album from the musical conglomerate known as Buena Vista Social Club. That was seventeen years ago. Fast forward to 2015. Cooder and de Marcos Gonzalez have both kept themselves quite busy with their own projects; so busy in fact that up until this past March, the pair had released only one other recording under the Buena Vista Social Club moniker. The recording, a live recording titled Buena Vista Social Club at Carnegie Hall, was released in 2008 via World Circuit Records around the World and on Nonesuch Records domestically in North America. Despite keeping so busy with their own projects Cooder and de Carlos Gonzalez did record some other pieces both in studio and live that until now had never seen the light of day so to speak. And thanks to the efforts of those at both World Circuit and Nonesuch, Buena Vista Social Club’s fans now have some of those recordings in the form of the group’s new compilation record Lost and Found. Lost and Found is a wonderful addition to any true music lover’s music library first and foremost because it is not just another compilation of “previously unreleased songs” and “new” songs. Instead it balances both some of the group’s previously unreleased songs with some of its live recordings, too. It really makes a valid effort to balance both elements, too. Both the live and studio elements offer their own enjoyment, too as audiences will hear. That is especially the case when examining the audio mix in the live recordings. Last but hardly least worth noting of the compilation is that even those audiences that don’t speak Spanish won’t have to worry about knowing any Spanish. That is because the songs’ musical side speaks volumes. The old adage that music is the universal language proves true time and again throughout each song. Audiences will find this for themselves when they listen to this collection of songs. It speaks volumes, too saying to audiences of all ages that Lost and Found is another record that proves itself one more of this year’s best new hits compilations.

Lost and Found is only the third overall collection of songs to be released by Buena Vista Social Club since it released its debut self-titled album in 1997. While not technically a collection of new studio recordings, it is still a record that proves itself well worth the listen. the main reason that it proves itself so worth the listen is that it isn’t just another contractually obligated space filler that has been haphazardly thrown together. Rather it is obvious in listening to the album’s fourteen total tracks that a lot of thought was put into the compilation’s assembly. While the group’s previously unreleased songs dominate the record, there are at least three live recordings included throughout the record, too. What is more, neither the members of BVSC nor the label reps at World Circuit or Nonesuch try to make them anything but what they are–b-sides that simply never made it to record because of the group’s commitments to other projects. This is different from compilation records churned out by so many other acts across the musical universe. Other acts try to market their compilation records as some sort of huge bonus for audiences and fans. They throw in “bonus making of DVDs” or “bonus live tracks, etc.” to try to convince audiences to pay for records that really end up bring hardly worth the money. It’s good to see that none of the parties involved here took that route. It creates within itself a solid foundation for the record and all the more reason for audiences to hear it regardless of their familiarity with BVSC.

The overall makeup of Lost and Found in regards to its sequencing makes for more than enough reason for audiences to hear this record. It’s just part of the reason that audiences will want to hear this record. The record’s production values add even more reason for audiences to hear this record especially with the live recordings included in the record. the audience noise is kept so well in check in the live recordings both on the front end and the back that they almost don’t feel like live recordings. There is just enough of that noise to let audiences know they are in fact hearing live performances. On another level, the musicians themselves are just as expertly balanced throughout each of the live performances, too. That means that each part can easily be heard. Just as impressive is that in hearing each performer, each part sounds so full that yet again one almost wouldn’t know one was hearing a live performance if not for the slightest amount of crowd noise just underneath the performers. It really is a tribute to the work of those charged with handling the audio mix in the noted recordings. That isn’t to take away from those that handled the production of the studio tracks of course. The production values of those tracks is just as impressive as that of the live recordings. All things considered, the work of those charged with handling the recordings’ production are to be commended. Their wok paid off in spades here, leading to yet another reason that any listener will enjoy this record.

The work that went into getting Lost and Found’s songs to record is definitely worth the mention in examining what makes this compilation so enjoyable. When partnered with the mix of live and previously unreleased studio tracks (as well as the compilation’s marketing), audiences are presented with double the reason to check out Lost and Found. For all of the value of these elements, the value of the songs’ musical side is just as worth noting. Regardless of whether or not audiences speak Spanish, every listener will appreciate the record’s musical side equally. It is said after all that music is the universal language. though for those that speak at least a little bit of Spanish, those audiences will appreciate the balance of the songs’ musical content with their lyrical content. From one song to the next each song presents its own depth and enjoyment thanks to the balance of music and lyrics. Such impressive balance of musical and lyrical content throughout the record solidifies Lost and Found’s success. Together with the record’s mix of songs and their marketing, and the production values of the songs, all three elements together make Lost and Found a record that every listener will be glad that they found.

Lost and Found may not necessarily be a new record from BVSC. Even being a compilation record, it is still an impressive record in its own right. That is thanks in large part to its included songs and related marketing of said songs. It doesn’t try to claim to be some special bonus record for audiences that is in reality just an obligatory space filler. It is a collection of songs that paints its own special picture of BVSC. The record’s production values are just as much worth noting both in terms of its studio tracks and its live recordings. Last but not least is the fact that whether or not audiences speak even the slightest bit of Spanish, the musical side of these songs will offer more than its own share of enjoyment. For those that do speak at least some Spanish, those audiences will appreciate the attention paid by the musicians to the link between the songs’ lyrical and musical content. All three elements together show clearly that Lost and Found is a record that every music lover will be glad to have found. Lost and Found is available in stores and online now and can be ordered online direct from Nonesuch Records’ online store at http://www.nonesuch.com/store/buena-vista-social-club. More information on this and other titles from Nonesuch Records is available online now at:

Website: http://www.nonesuch.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NoneSuchRecords

Twitter: http://twitter.com/NoneSuchRecords

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions Are Also Some Of The Original Series’ Greatest Episodes

Courtesy:  CBS DVD/Paramount

Courtesy: CBS DVD/Paramount

When NBC first brought Star Trek to the airwaves in 1966, it was not the only sci-fi series to come to audiences at the time.  The Twilight Zone ran on CBS from 1959 – 1964.  ABC responded in 1963 with The Outer Limits.  From 1964 to 1968, ABC took audiences beneath the waves in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, which itself stemmed from the 1961 big screen feature of the same name.  CBS also had Lost in Space from 1965 – ’68 and My Favorite Martian from 1963’66.  From 1967 – ’68, ABC also ran The Invaders.  Looking at all of this, it goes without saying that Gene Roddenberry’s series had its fair share of competition in its original run on television.  And interestingly enough, it actually ran for about the same amount of time—three seasons—as those other series.  In some cases, it ran longer than its competition.  Yet having only run three seasons it has gone on to become the most successful of all of the franchises that came before and after.  From the time of its original broadcast on NBC, Star Trek has gone on to spawn no fewer than six big screen features, five more series, four more movies linked to one of those series, and countless video games, books and box sets.  The latest of those box sets—Star Trek: The Original SeriesCaptain Kirk’s Boldest Missions—was just released this past March.  More specifically, it was released March 17th.  Regardless of audiences’ familiarity or loyalty to Star Trek: TOS, this latest collection of episodes proves itself a worthwhile addition to any fan’s Star Trek collection.  The main way in which it proves itself a worthwhile addition to any fan’s collection is through the episodes culled for the collection.  From playing a game of cat and mouse in “The Corbomite Maneuver” and “Balance of Terror” to facing off against a device that could destroy entire worlds, Kirk and company face some huge odds in the episodes collected for the set.  And these are just a few examples of what fans have to expect from this set.  There is much more for audiences to enjoy from these and the set’s other episodes in whole, proving why the episodes collected for the set are the foundation of its enjoyment.  The bonus commentary included with the set adds even more enjoyment to the set even as limited as it proves to be.  It is one more reason that audiences should check out Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions.  Last but not least worth noting of this collection is its collective production values.  The episodes presented here look and sound just as impressive as in their previous DVD and Blu-ray releases with the other episodes from the series’ full season sets.  That means that all eight episodes prove just as enjoyable to watch here as in the series’ full-season sets.  And it solidifies Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions as quite the bold outing itself.  It is a collection that Star Trek fans of all ages should have in their collection regardless of whether they already own the previously released stand-alone full season sets or not.

Star Trek: The Original SeriesCaptain Kirk’s Boldest Missions is obviously not the first collection of classic Star Trek episodes to have been released since the series first hit the airwaves in 1966.  It is however a great addition to any Star Trek fan’s personal collection regardless of their familiarity or loyalty to the series.  It holds its own quite well against all of the other TOS collections that have come before (including the stand-alone full-season sets).  The main way in which it holds its own so well is through its featured episodes.  It features eight total episodes spread across two discs.  The episodes culled for this set are not just some of Captain Kirk’s boldest missions but also some of the most memorable episodes of the series’ overall.  Disc one sees Kirk and company playing a high stakes game of cat and mouse in “The Corbomite Maneuver” and “Balance of Terror.”  They also come face to face with Khan for the first time in “Space Seed.”  “The Conscience of the King” features an interstellar murder mystery of sorts.  Disc Two presents just as much entertainment for audiences.  It offers up two alternate timeline/universe stories in the form of “The City on the Edge of Forever” and “Mirror.”  Both stories are classic alternate universe stories in their own right, too.  “Mirror Mirror’s” alternate story sees Kirk thrust into a universe in which the crew of the Enterprise is anything but honorable.  “The City on the Edge of Forever” sends Kirk and company back in time to an Earth that is ruled by the Nazi party.  And it’s up to them to change that.  “The Doomsday Machine” is just as gripping and thought provoking.  That is because the machine in question was a humanly created machine meant solely for warfare.  And it has gone rogue so to speak.  Now it’s yet again up to Kirk to lead his crew and stop the machine before it destroys the Enterprise.  “Return To Tomorrow” offers its own interest as it raises the question of whether or not beings from other worlds visited Earth eons ago. The manner in which the show’s writers raised this discussion is itself short. But it definitely opens up the door for that discussion. And it’s just another way in which the episodes featured in Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions prove themselves the most important part of the set’s enjoyment.

The episodes collected for Kirk’s Boldest Missions each offer audiences their own share of enjoyment, showing from one to the next why they sit at the center of this set’s enjoyment. As enjoyable as each episode proves itself to be, the episodes can only go so far on their own merits. Luckily for fans, there is additional commentary included with the set, too. Of course it is limited. There is no commentary within the episodes per se. But there is still commentary included on both discs. The most extensive commentary precedes “The City on The Edge of Forever.” William Shatner and co-star Joan Collins (who guest stars on the episode in question) discuss the importance of the episode and the implications of World War II’s outcome. It drives home the importance of what the Allied Forces accomplished in stopping Hitler’s Nazi regime. Didn’t think that sci-fi could be so deep? It most certainly can be. And as in this episode, it most certainly is deeper than many people think. Speaking of that depth, Shatner offers even more depth in the bonus commentary included in the set’s first disc as he discusses the importance of the captain keeping a log on Star Trek and how that mirrors a person keeping a personal journal in real life. He also relates the characteristics of a good captain to a good leader in real life, and the legacy left behind by Captain Kirk. Yet again, he makes a real world comparison to the legacy that people leave in their own lives. These discussions continue the depth presented in the one episodic commentary included in the set’s second disc. All of the commentaries combined, they offer their own insight and entertainment for audiences. Those commentaries added to the episodes prove even stronger why Kirk’s Boldest Missions is a great addition to any Star Trek fan’s collection even if said fan(s) already own the series’ stand-alone season sets.

The bonus commentary and episodes featured at the center of Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions collectively give Star Trek fans plenty of reason to add the compilation to their own DVD libraries. Having noted both elements, there is still one more element to note to its positive. That last element is the look and sound of the episodes, or its overall production values. The episodes culled for Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions look and sound just as good as they do alongside the series’ other episodes in its previously released stand-alone season sets. As lacking as this seems in terms of importance to the whole, it is actually rather important. There are some companies out there that try to churn out compilations such as this one for other series without trying at all to make them look or sound even presentable. Those companies will remain nameless here. But they do exist. Luckily for fans, those at Paramount and CBS Video have made certain to make these episodes look and sound their best once more for fans regardless of whether or not fans already own the series’ standalone sets. Because the episodes sound and look as good as they do, they make for all the reason for fans to watch the episodes and commentary and add this set to their personal Star Trek collections.

Star Trek: The Original SeriesCaptain Kirk’s Boldest Missions offers the series’ fans plenty of reason to add this collection to their own personal DVD libraries. It offers audiences eight episodes that are not only some of Captain Kirk’s greatest (and boldest) missions, but eight episodes that are also fan favorites. On top of that, it also includes some rather in-depth commentary form Captain Kirk himself. Topping of the ways in which this set proves itself worthy of Star Trek fans around the world is its collective production values. The episodes presented here look and sound just as good as in their previous presentations. All three elements combined together prove this double-disc set one that every Star Trek fan of every age will appreciate with every watch and should have in their own home DVD collection. It is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct from CBS Home Entertainment at http://cbshe.com/STKirk. More information on this and other titles available from CBS Home Entertainment is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.cbshomeentertainment.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cbshomeentertainment

 

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Lionsgate Announces Release Date, Specs For Ex Machina

Courtesy:  Lionsgate

Courtesy: Lionsgate

Lionsgate’s hit sci-fi thriller ex machina is coming to DVD and Blu-ray this summer.

Officials with Lionsgate have announced that ex machina will be released Tuesday, July 14th. It will be releaed both on Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack and DVD + Digital combo pack. The movie stars Domhnall Gleeson (Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens, Unbroken), Alicia Vikander (The Circle, A Royal Affair) Golden Globe®-nominated actor Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens, A Most Violent Year) and is helmed by Alex Garland (Dredd, writer of 28 Days) in his directorial debut.

The story behind ex machina is centered on young computer programmer Caleb (Domhnall). Caleb has won a competition to spend a week at the mountain retreat of his company’s CEO Nathan (Isaac). What Caleb doesn’t realize is that he didn’t necessarily win a contest. He has actually been chosen to be part of a study involving an artificial intelligence (played here by Alicia Vikander). Caleb has been sworn to secrecy and what’s more, he has been cut off from the rest of the world in the study. Upon meeting the android Caleb is pulled into a world that he never thought possible. Both the DVD + Digital combo pack and Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack will feature a handful of bonuses including a making of featurette, a panel discussion from South X Southwest with the cast and crew, and a number of behind the scenes videos. The Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack will retail for MSRP of $24.99 and DVD for MSRP of $19.98. More information on this and other titles from Lionsgate is available online at:

Website: http://www.lionsgate.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lionsgate

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ESPN Announces Early Details For PBC Debut Broadcast

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s long-running weekly boxing program Friday Night Fights may be done. But boxing is anything but gone from the worldwide leader in sports. Officials with ESPN announced the details for the premiere episode of its new boxing series Premiere Boxing Champions ahead of last Friday’s series-ending broadcast of FNF.

Premiere Boxing Champions will air its premiere episode on Saturday, July 11th at 9pm ET on ESPN live from a yet-to-be-named venue in Tampa, Florida. The debut episode of the network’s new boxing program will be a big one. The evening’s main event will be a twelve-round welterweight matchup between currently undefeated Keith “One Time” Thurman (25 – 0, 21 KOs) and Luis Callazo (36 – 6, 19 KOs). The evening’s opening bout will be aten-round junior middleweight fight between undefeated Tony Harrison (21 – 0, 18 KOs) and Willie Nelson (23 – 2 – 1, 13 KOs). And for those with access to ESPN3, ESPN3 will carry the evening’s preliminary bouts. The details on those fights will be announced at a later date. Thurman is considered by many to be the heir apparent in the division to Floyd Mayweather once Mayweather retires. He comes into the premiere episode of PBC on ESPN on the heels of a unanimous decision win over welterweight contender Robert Guerro in his most recent match. Collazo also will look to make a splash in the debut episode of PBC on ESPN by adding yet another notch to his “W” column, as he defeated Christopher Degollado courtesy of a 2nd-round TKO in his most recent match. In the night’s other bout, Harrison will be looking to keep his winning ways going, as he comes in to the night’s fight on the heels of a 3rd-round TKO win over Pablo Munguia in his most recent fight. Nelson on the other hand will look to get back into the “W” column having suffered a tough unanimous decision loss to Vanes Matrirosyan in his last fight.

The upcoming boxing series was created for television by Haymon Boxing and will feature top-tier fights between some of boxing’s biggest names each week. Each season’s broadcast schedule will include twelve two-hour shows annually on ESPN and ABC. ESPN Deportes will also carry each week’s broadcast on its Noche de Combates series. On an even larger scale, ESPN International will carry coverage of PBC on ESPN in Latin America, Brazil, the Caribbean, and Pacific Rim. Fans that won’t be near a television during each fight’s broadcast can always see PBC on ESPN online via WatchESPN on computers, smartphones, tablets, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One via an affiliated video provider.

The long-time FNF broadcast team of Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will have the call for each broadcast of PBC on ESPN.

More information on PBC on ESPN is available online now at:

Website: http://www.premierboxingchampions.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/premierboxingchampions

Twitter: https://twitter.com/premierboxing

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.